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Twitter mulls subscriptions that would rid your feed of ads

An edit button may still be a ways off for Twitter, but subscriptions look as if they could be incoming.

Twitter is looking into the idea of letting its community pay to banish ads from their feeds, insiders told Bloomberg this week.

A number of options are under consideration as Twitter examines different ways to boost its income.

You know things are serious when a company creates internal teams to examine a subject, with Twitter reportedly putting several on the case, one with the intriguing name of “Rogue One.”

Bloomberg’s sources said that besides a straightforward monthly or annual subscription, we could also see a “tipping” system that allows followers to throw cash the way of their favorite users, perhaps during arranged livestreams similar to YouTube. There’s also talk of allowing Twitter members to pay those they follow for exclusive content, with Twitter taking a cut of any payments.

The San Francisco-based company could also start charging a fee for the use of services like TweetDeck, its dashboard app for the management of its accounts, or for advanced product features such as “undo send.” Greater profile customization could also be added as a premium feature, with folks asked to cough up cash to make use of it.

Truth be told, the company has been toying with the idea of subscriptions for some time, but these recent rumblings — including discussion on the matter during Twitter’s two most recent earnings calls over the last six months — suggest the idea could be about to become a reality.

There’s still much to consider, however, including Twitter’s relationship with advertisers who wouldn’t be too happy to see lots of users paying money to block their messages.

If you’d prefer to avoid endless ads every time you scroll through your feed, would you be happy to pay an annual fee to banish them forever? No doubt your decision would depend on how much you’re asked to pay, a tricky topic that members of Rogue One may be discussing right now. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see if Twitter does actually launch such a system in the coming months, but as for that much-called-for edit button — don’t hold your breath.

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Trevor Mogg
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